Northern Irish shipyard Harland
and Wolff has won a provisional order worth more than $350 million to build two luxury cruise liners, company officials said. The shipyard, which earlier this month secured its future with a $450 million order for four passenger ferries, said it had been awarded a letter of intent by cruise line Luxus Holdings
The 28,000 ton ships will carry 380 passengers and measure more than 656 ft. (200 m), officials said. Luxus said the ships were designed to mimic the standards of a large luxury yacht.
The order follows news that Northern Ireland's largest manufacturing sector employer, Bombardier Aerospace, plans to create 1,200 new jobs over the next two years at its Belfast-based aerospace unit Short Brothers Plc.
The announcements are likely to be seen as a major vote of confidence in Northern Ireland, which last week saw a return to home rule, regarded as a key stepping stone to restoring a lasting peace to the conflict-torn province.